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Jordan Mechner's Decided to Remake Karateka

Prince of Persia creator working with a small team to rebuild Karateka.

Karateka was originally released on the Apple ][, but the game showed up all sorts of places later.

There’s always reason to be nervous when the terms “remake,” “reboot,” or “reenvisioning” come up, but after seeing what Prince of Persia creator Jordan Mechner did with Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, the acclaimed designer has certainly earned our trust.

Hopefully, he’s able to work the same magic on Karateka as Prince of Persia, as the designer announced today that he’s working with a small team on creating an updated Karateka for downloadable services later this year.

“Whether I’m doing a game, movie, or graphic novel, my goal is to create a world in which a story and characters come alive,” said Mechner in an interview with Venture Beat. “I love working in all those media, each has its own special strengths, and I’d hate to give any of them up. I’m working as hard as ever as a screenwriter, but when I thought about bringing back Karateka, I felt very strongly that it should be a game. And that now was the time.”

Hey, sign me up.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
50 Comments
Posted by patrickklepek
Karateka was originally released on the Apple ][, but the game showed up all sorts of places later.

There’s always reason to be nervous when the terms “remake,” “reboot,” or “reenvisioning” come up, but after seeing what Prince of Persia creator Jordan Mechner did with Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, the acclaimed designer has certainly earned our trust.

Hopefully, he’s able to work the same magic on Karateka as Prince of Persia, as the designer announced today that he’s working with a small team on creating an updated Karateka for downloadable services later this year.

“Whether I’m doing a game, movie, or graphic novel, my goal is to create a world in which a story and characters come alive,” said Mechner in an interview with Venture Beat. “I love working in all those media, each has its own special strengths, and I’d hate to give any of them up. I’m working as hard as ever as a screenwriter, but when I thought about bringing back Karateka, I felt very strongly that it should be a game. And that now was the time.”

Hey, sign me up.

Staff
Edited by Kerensky_Furey

ok, cool

Posted by buckybit

... all these 'remakes' - I don't take that term seriously. Every iteration is a 'new' game. True, for instance, Twisted Metal - the 'new' one - is drumming on old beats, but it is a new game, for a new generation. And we - old guys - are not the same neither.

If it's good, it's gonna be good, no matter what. Being 'inspired' by old stuff ain't bad unless publishers want to milk us deliberately without delivering a decent game?

Posted by Hailinel

Hopefully, the joke ending is in this version, too.

Posted by CharAznable

Kara-teeka

Kerotica

Posted by Video_Game_King

Aw crap. Why this game? There really isn't a lot of game to remake, so what's the point? Wouldn't a Flash remake on Newgrounds make more sense?

Posted by skrutop

That GOD DAMN BIRD!

Posted by boatorious

Here's hoping it's a Kinect-Powered Bird Puncher.

Posted by oppai2

We used to play that back in the day. I guess my buddy still has that somewhere...

Posted by Batmeng

Better than throwing stuff.

Posted by RenMcKormack

@CharAznable said:

Kara-teeka

Kerotica

Kerotica

Posted by Hailinel
@Video_Game_King

Aw crap. Why this game? There really isn't a lot of game to remake, so what's the point? Wouldn't a Flash remake on Newgrounds make more sense?

There wasn't much to the original Prince of Persia. What's your point?
Posted by Kevin_Cogneto

Looking forward to taking one step backward and falling off a cliff in high definition.

Posted by GeedAwesome

I swear to God, if it's in 3D, I can't be held accountable for my actions. Plus, I remember when I played it on Commodore 64 and didn't bow to the princess and she kicked me in the nuts. Bitch.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Hailinel:

There was a lot more to it than this game, though. My point is that this game isn't substantial enough to warrant a remake. It'd be like remaking Adventure: yea, it's a historically important game, but it'd be hard to remake the game without making it an entirely different thing.

Posted by buft

a 2d adventure like shadow complex with a complex melee fighting system would be great

Posted by sawtooth

finally

Posted by stinky

FULL POINT.

oh wrong game. anyhow Karate Champ is the one that should be remade.

Posted by Humanity

I'm just going to say right now people will be upset with this game when the very first screens come up and things such as "it's nothing like the original" will be thrown around quite liberally.

Online
Posted by Rasgueado

He's so far been very consistent with his ideal that characters and world need to come alive. That was one of the aspects of "The Last Express" that made it a unique adventure game.

Posted by xite

This is fine and all, but when are we getting our Karnov remake?

Posted by betterboulder

I wouldn't be surprised if it went dark and had dubstep

Posted by Maitimo

I'm of the school of thought that the only remakes should be of things the creator hated, since they will never be able to preserve the thing people love about the original or fully realise the vision they have for it.

Posted by ZanzibarBreeze

There's not enough talk in here about how effing rad Karateka is.

Posted by Deusoma
@Humanity said:

I'm just going to say right now people will be upset with this game when the very first screens come up and things such as "it's nothing like the original" will be thrown around quite liberally.

I thought that went without saying. :P
Posted by shodan2020

And now the Karateka pronunciation war resumes.... :)

Still, this is pretty great news.

Posted by ccampbell02

Personally, I'd rather see a remake of

Yie Ar Kung-Fu

Edited by cikame

Cool.
I hope people don't judge this as "another remake" because after reading Mechners diaries about the creation of Prince of Persia, this more than likely has more love behind it than alot of the stuff we've been given so far.
 
Also, i didn't play Karateka but i did play Black Belt on the Master System, this might appeal to me.

Posted by ThePilgrums

I just listened to the "Ka-rah-tee-ka" Bombcast two nights ago. What timing!

Posted by DeepSpace9MM

Karateka was the first game I ever played. Thus, its time to get HYPE!

Posted by buzz_clik

FUCK YES. Although you'd better be able to take one step backwards at the very start of the game for beautiful, wonderful fail.

Moderator
Posted by crusader8463

If I recall correctly I believe that this, Jazz Jack Rabbit and Commander Keen were the first PC games I ever played.

Posted by jakkblades

Awesome. Also a Karateka movie would be stupid. (Or would have nothing to do with Karateka.)

Posted by Hailinel

@Video_Game_King said:

@Hailinel:

There was a lot more to it than this game, though. My point is that this game isn't substantial enough to warrant a remake. It'd be like remaking Adventure: yea, it's a historically important game, but it'd be hard to remake the game without making it an entirely different thing.

So what? They can add more to it. They added more to Prince of Persia, they can expand on the gameplay of Karateka.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Hailinel:

Did they add in terms of raw gameplay? My worry is "how much can you add before it's just another game entirely", along with "does Karateka have enough gameplay in the first place to make that worry null"?

Posted by Hailinel

@Video_Game_King said:

@Hailinel:

Did they add in terms of raw gameplay? My worry is "how much can you add before it's just another game entirely", along with "does Karateka have enough gameplay in the first place to make that worry null"?

Did you not play Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes? They added to the gameplay of that game and it didn't change the fact that it was a remake of Metal Gear Solid.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Hailinel:

That really wasn't a lot, though; if I remember correctly, it was just some features from Metal Gear Solid 2, like hanging off gratings and stuffing bodies in lockers. How much would they have to add to Karateka to justify it being worth $5 (that's usually the minimum for downloadable games, right?).

Posted by Hailinel

@Video_Game_King said:

@Hailinel:

That really wasn't a lot, though; if I remember correctly, it was just some features from Metal Gear Solid 2, like hanging off gratings and stuffing bodies in lockers. How much would they have to add to Karateka to justify it being worth $5 (that's usually the minimum for downloadable games, right?).

How about you wait and see what they actually do before passing judgement?

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Hailinel:

Fair enough, although I still maintain that this is cause for concern.

Posted by Hailinel

@Video_Game_King said:

@Hailinel:

Fair enough, although I still maintain that this is cause for concern.

No it's not. It's absurd to think of it as any cause for concern when there's absolutely no word on how the game will look or play.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Hailinel:

Isn't that what makes it cause for concern, though?

Posted by Hailinel

@Video_Game_King said:

@Hailinel:

Isn't that what makes it cause for concern, though?

No, it is not. The game was just announced. We have nothing to judge the game on, good or bad, other than the fact that the creator of the original Karateka is involved. You're looking at a mere lack of specifics as cause for alarm, which is ridiculous.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Hailinel said:

The game was just announced. We have nothing to judge the game on, good or bad, other than the fact that the creator of the original Karateka is involved.

Or that it's based on Karateka, which is the center of this issue. If you change too little, then it seems hard to justify charging the amount of money you'd have to charge for it; if you change too much, it'd be hard to justify calling it Karateka (or at least a remake of Karateka).

Posted by JackSukeru

With a game as mechanically sparse as Karateka, and with it being made by "a small team" to be released on downloadable services, I have a hard time seeing it going for anything beyond being a 2D sidescroller with you occasionally karate-fighting some dudes.

That in itself doesn't sound all that interesting and there have been many weak-ass remakes of old games lately, so to set it apart it either needs to update the level design (which pretty much goes without saying), add an interesting aesthetic to it and/or significantly deepen its one-on-one fighting mechanics.

If it had a presentation that made ample use of the Silhouetted 2D style (which would also be a good fit with its original look) while cutting in extra "panels" into the screen, comic book style, that showed events going on in other rooms during gameplay (also similar to the original game) I could see that being a good start. Add to that a one-on-one fighting system that's mechanically dense and challenging, a little bit of exploring and some light puzzle solving and I'd be totally on board.

...but I'm getting ahead of myself. I hope whatever they make turns out to be cool.

Posted by ajamafalous
@CharAznable said:

Kara-teeka

Kerotica

I actually just listened to the Bombcast from like 2008 where Vinny mentions Karateka. He calls it Kara-teeka and then everyone (read: Ryan) freaks out about it and says it's pronounced Kerotica.
Posted by Eyz

That is some fantastic news!

I mean, I love me some more Jordan Mechner games~

I have absolutely no idea how he can can re-imagine that game, as much as I like it, to this current gen. but I'm sure it will be a fun experience in the end~

Posted by mzuckerm

First game I ever beat, on the Apple IIGS in the 80s. Great memories. Incredibly frustrating the first time though, when I thought I had beaten the game and walked over to the girl, who promptly beat me down. Nice trick.

Posted by BisonHero

@ajamafalous said:

@CharAznable said:

Kara-teeka

Kerotica

I actually just listened to the Bombcast from like 2008 where Vinny mentions Karateka. He calls it Kara-teeka and then everyone (read: Ryan) freaks out about it and says it's pronounced Kerotica.

Haha, do you remember which one that is? Because now I really want to go listen to how completely wrong they both are. :P

Edited by CharAznable

@BisonHero said:

@ajamafalous said:

@CharAznable said:

Kara-teeka

Kerotica

I actually just listened to the Bombcast from like 2008 where Vinny mentions Karateka. He calls it Kara-teeka and then everyone (read: Ryan) freaks out about it and says it's pronounced Kerotica.

Haha, do you remember which one that is? Because now I really want to go listen to how completely wrong they both are. :P

I believe it's the one from 7/21/09:

"We recover from Friday night's funcaholism in tonight's episode of Everybody Loves Bombcast with Wii Sports Resort, Evo 2009, the correct pronunciation of Karateka, toast guns, Shadow Complex, night vision goggles, Rock Band Network, and more!"

Also, looking through the archives made me really want to listen to the old episodes from the Tokyo Game Show again.

Posted by ajamafalous
@CharAznable said:

@BisonHero said:

@ajamafalous said:

@CharAznable said:

Kara-teeka

Kerotica

I actually just listened to the Bombcast from like 2008 where Vinny mentions Karateka. He calls it Kara-teeka and then everyone (read: Ryan) freaks out about it and says it's pronounced Kerotica.

Haha, do you remember which one that is? Because now I really want to go listen to how completely wrong they both are. :P

I believe it's the one from 7/21/09:

"We recover from Friday night's funcaholism in tonight's episode of Everybody Loves Bombcast with Wii Sports Resort, Evo 2009, the correct pronunciation of Karateka, toast guns, Shadow Complex, night vision goggles, Rock Band Network, and more!"

Also, looking through the archives made me really want to listen to the old episodes from the Tokyo Game Show again.

I can confirm that it is that one.